Florida in cone as hurricane center issues warnings for what could become Tropical Storm Isaias

The National Hurricane Center has yet to name a churning system in the Atlantic, but issued its first advisory for Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine, which is projected to spin up and become Tropical Storm Isaias in the next 36 hours.

The 11 a.m. advisory includes tropical storm warnings for Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Martin/St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius.

The NHC expects those areas could experience tropical storm conditions by the end of Wednesday.

Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine, which was expected to become Tropical Storm Isaias, was expected to impact southern Florida as a tropical storm, according to a forecast graphic issued by the National Hurricane Center on July 28, 2020.
Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine, which was expected to become Tropical Storm Isaias, was expected to impact southern Florida as a tropical storm, according to a forecast graphic issued by the National Hurricane Center on July 28, 2020. (National Hurricane Center)

Florida could be seeing landfall on its current projected path somewhere near Broward County by Sunday morning, according to FOX 35 meteorologist Jayme King.

”Early stages means there is greater than average uncertainty in the track and intensity,” King said. “The bottom line is again it is hurricane season and you need to be prepared for this.”

Potential Tropical Storm Isaias forecast models as of 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 28, 2020.
Potential Tropical Storm Isaias forecast models as of 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 28, 2020. (WDT)

The not quite organized system has yet to be named a tropical depression, but is already clocking more than 40 mph sustained winds with higher gusts in some places, so if the NHC determines circulation is enough to dub it an official storm, it will already be above the threshold to be named Tropical Storm Isaias. Already tropical-storm force winds extend out 230 miles, mostly to the northeast of its center.

As of 11 a.m., the system was located 585 miles east-southeast of the Leeward Islands moving west at 23 mph.

“On the forecast track, the system is forecast to move through the Leeward Islands on Wednesday, and near or over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Wednesday night, and near or over Hispaniola on Thursday,” forecasters said.

The U.S. Coast Guard elevated its warning system for ports in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands as of 2 p.m. Monday, setting them to port condition WHISKEY, meaning it expects gale-force winds of greater than 39 mph within 72 hours. Port facilities remain open to commercial traffic but pleasure craft should seek safe harbor while all commercial vessels greater than 500 gross tons should be making plans to leave the ports.

The 2020 hurricane season has already seen six tropical storms – Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay and Gonzalo – plus Hurricane Hanna, which hit Texas over the weekend. After Isaias, the next named storms could be Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred.

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